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Alvin O.

Thompson, "Flight to Freedom: African Runaways And Maroons in the Americas


(Caribbean History)."
Publisher: University of the West Indies Press
ISBN: 9766401802
2006 edition
PDF - 381 Pages - 3.9 MB

African slavery in the Americas has left indelible marks on the geographical,
political, economic, social and cultural landscapes of the Americas. An important
part of that indelibility is marronage that involved both flight from slavery and
the establishment of free communities. This book is about the struggles of enslaved
Africans in the Americas who achieved freedom through flight and the establishment
of Maroon communities in the face of overwhelming military odds on the part of the
slaveholders. Incontestably, Maroon communities constituted the first independent
polities from European colonial rule in the hemisphere, even if the colonial states
did not accord them legal recognition. They had their own independent political,
economic and social structures, and occupied definitive land spaces that they often
contested with the colonial state and won. This study demonstrates how they
utilized the natural landscape and modified it to guard their freedom, and also
indicates the dangers that complacency, authoritarianism and militarism posed to
that freedom. Thompson reassesses several interpretations that have informed the
discourse on marronage. While useful monographs exist on the subject, no study to
date has attempted to provide the pan-American scope that is critical to
understanding the role of marronage in the struggle of the hemisphere's enslaved
population for freedom and dignity. Historians, political scientists, sociologists,
ethnographers, linguists, archaeologists and other scholars specializing on the
Americas or in comparative studies will find this work useful. The text is written
in a way that makes it interesting and useful to students at the secondary and
tertiary levels, and to the public at large. An earlier version of this manuscript
received the Prizes of Caribbean Thought 2003-2004, Political Thought